Hardly anyone in ancient Greece died with dignity. Stories of great Greek heroes dying quietly in their sleep are few and far between—or at the very least are eclipsed by stories of people dragged by chariots and stabbed in their tendons.
These weird deaths aren’t just an ancient history thing; they struck the Greeks more than anyone. Perhaps it was because they tried things that others didn’t have the courage to attempt, or perhaps they simply knew not to taint a good story with facts. We will never know sure what was happening, but based on the stories the ancient Greeks left behind, Greece in its prime was a country overrun with an epidemic of absurd, Looney Tunes–like deaths.